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Reminder: New Snow & Ice Removal Law in Effect in PA

Reminder: New Snow & Ice Removal Law in Effect in PA

As winter rolls in across the state, Pennsylvania motorists are reminded that a new snow and ice removal law was signed by Governor Tom Wolf in July and is now in effect. “Christine’s Law” is a bill named for Christine Lambert, who died on Christmas Day in 2005 after a piece of ice dislodged from a passing box truck and crashed through her windshield.

The new law, designed to prevent incidents like this, requires drivers of both passenger and commercial vehicles to make “reasonable efforts” to remove ice or snow from their vehicles within 24 hours of a winter storm.

There are exceptions for motor carrier vehicles, mass transit vehicles, and buses from this requirement under the following conditions:

  • The driver is en route to a facility to remove accumulated ice or snow at the time they are stopped by law enforcement, or
  • Compliance would cause the driver to violate any other federal or state law or regulation regarding workplace safety or would be a threat to the health or safety of the driver.

Under the new section 3721 of the Vehicle Code, law enforcement officers have discretion to pull over a vehicle where the buildup of snow or ice poses a potential hazard. Each offense is $50, regardless of whether any snow or ice is dislodged.

However, should snow or ice become dislodged from a moving vehicle and strike another vehicle or pedestrian, causing death or serious injury, the fine is not less than $200 and not more than $1500 for each offense.

Check out PMTA’s recent webinar on Winter Weather Restrictions and Snow/Ice Removal for details.

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